Watching this excellent short film by James West about that rare-but-not-as-rare-as-you-think species, the Republican who believes the science of climate change, I was reminded that there was a time in U.S. politics when science was not a partisan issue.

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Of course, that was back when we argued about other even more unreasonable things, like whether the color of your skin disqualified you from being a person, so it's not like I'm saying there is a now-past golden age I'd prefer we revert to.

Anyway, the lesson here is clear: The partisan-ness of climate change is in part self-reinforcing. Republican Climate Hawks are pariahs to everyone — their own party, for the heresy of believing that basic laws of physics do not constitute a special interest, and to people on the left, who treat them with suspicion because they think people like this basically don't exist. This kind of hostile climate is what drives a rare species towards extinction.

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